1976 Historic Image Captures “Ghost” and Goes Viral
In 1976, Charles W. Nelson took a photograph from the rear of “Cedarhurst” for the Minnesota Historical Society. Thirty-eight years later, the image went viral on the Internet.
Originally a farmhouse, the home was converted into a summer retreat in 1886. Mary Frances Harriman inherited the property from her grandfather, Charles Oramel Fanning (1800-1888). Celebrated architect Cass Gilbert expanded the retreat designing the mansion for Cordenio Arnold and Mary Frances Harriman Severance. He called the house “Cedarhurst.” Construction covered the years 1911-1917. In the end, the home totaled 12,000 square feet. The 26-room mansion was built in the Neoclassical Revival style and included twin classical columned porticoes, formal ball room, and rose garden.
Severance was a corporate litigator who served as the 44th President of the American Bar Association. Severance and his wife hosted 4 presidents…
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